Did you ever look across the park’s rooftops from the forgotten ride Les Pirouettes du Vieux Moulin? It’s a lost Disneyland Paris attraction that’s hiding in plain sight. And since it stopped turning almost 20 years ago, it’s turned into a way more popular destination.
You can usually find a mystery princess or two holding a meet and greet beside the Old Mill. Maybe you’ve grabbed a Mickey Waffle while you wait? Because the Old Mill is known as one of the best places to find the famous treat in Fantasyland.
But let’s go back to the 1990s for a moment.
This Story Calls for Mickey Waffles!
Le Vieux Moulin was a snack stand when it debuted in 1992. Well, that sounds familiar… yes, it’s still a snack stand!
Soon afterwards, a Ferris wheel was added at the back and Les Pirouettes du Vieux Moulin ride was created. It replicated a water mill with riders going round in little buckets. Cute, no?
As the buckets sailed higher, you could look straight across the treetops of Fantasyland, from Toad Hall to the Fantasyland Gelateria. In the distance, the castle’s turrets rose up in the distance – just like they do in all our favourite Disney princess movies.
So where did the idea come from?
It’s not translated from a Disneyland or Disney World original ride, like Big Thunder Mountain. And it doesn’t come straight from a movie like Les Voyages de Pinocchio (it would look perfectly at home in Belle’s village). Or maybe it does…
The Old Mill Has Been Around Since 1937 (and 1955)
DLP’s forgotten ride was pitched in the 1950s for Walt Disney’s original Disneyland, where it would have been an opening day attraction.
The design is based on Disney’s Oscar-winning 1937 short film, The Old Mill. And now you can watch The Old Mill on Disney+, along with other forgotten Disney films and Silly Symphonies!
It would have been a Ferris wheel ride, pretty much like the ride we had in Paris. But of course, it didn’t happen… as a standalone attraction.
If you know your way around Disneyland Paris, you probably know that the Old Mill stands in front of Casey Jr. and Le Pays de Contes des Fées. Here’s the view you used to be able to capture from Les Pirouettes du Vieux Moulin… across the Disneyland Railroad, with Casey Jr. coming down the tracks and boats sailing round the tiny villages below.
Well, guess what?
The adorable Le Pays de Contes des Fées boat ride is a version of the Storybook Land Canal Boats in California. For a long time Storybook Land was home to tiny windmills in honour of the classic short film and the abandoned ride concept.
Life’s Hard for Le Vieux Moulin
Riders on the lost Disneyland Paris attraction Les Pirouettes du Vieux Moulin could catch some amazing views across the park. And plenty of photo opportunities!
But by the time the Ferris wheel had slowly loaded up bucket by bucket, with a small capacity per bucket, the queue was usually long…
And because of the open-air design, the ride stayed close in cold weather.
Disneyland Paris closed Les Pirouettes du Vieux Moulin in 1999. It reopened over the next couple of years, before the buckets turned for the last time.
Over in California, Disneyland’s Storybook Land Canal Boats replaced the little mills with a miniature Arendelle in 2014.
But DLP’s Vieux Moulin has bounced back.
It’s now in the heart of meet-and-greet land, between the Princess Pavilion, L’Auberge du Cendrillon, Alice’s Maze and Winnie-the-Pooh’s honeypot spot… And Disney Princesses love visiting the Old Mill too! Instead of an occasional attraction it’s a must-see.
Goodbye Vieux Moulin, Hello Old Mill
Le Vieux Moulin has lost its old-world buckets, views across the park and its original French name… but the rest of the nostalgic building lives on as The Old Mill snack stand.
We’ve gained extra chances to meet our favourite characters, and we can still pick up an all-important coffee to get us through another Disney day!